Delaware shoots down gambling expansion bill

TAGs: Delaware gambling, pennsylvania gambling

While Pennsylvania hopes to become the second largest gambling destination in the United States in the near future, with Atlantic City continuing to struggle, Delaware is pumping their brakes on gambling expansion.

State Rep. Pete Schwartzkopf’s three-year quest to bring more casinos to Delaware took at huge blow yesterday when the House committee voted against his proposal to expand gambling beyond the three racetrack casinos already in existence.

The bill by Schwartzkopf was intended to authorize the building of two new casinos one in Sussex and one in the county of New Castle. Schwartzkopf isn’t going down without a fight though, he and Gov. Jack Markell are mulling plans to bring the measure before the full House before the legislative session ends June 30.

Though Pennsylvania continues to see growth in revenue from gambling, they too had analysts, casino operators and government officials sit down to determine if the market is approaching saturation and what controls can implemented to prevent that from happening. Delaware found themselves thrown into the same position with the proposal of this bill for gambling expansion.

The House Gaming & Parimutuels Committee spent nearly two and a half hours debating the bill but in the end, the panel felt that three racetrack casinos was enough. The vote was extremely close with the lawmakers voting 6 to 5 not to release the bill to the full House.

Currently the casino business in Delaware is booming and accounts for more than $200 million annually in state revenues annually. Delaware is right to consider saturation, but they should also consider the competition.

Pennsylvania may not just be stealing customers from Atlantic City, but they might be stealing them from Delaware as well if the state doesn’t keep pace.

There is one sure fire way to stay ahead of the competition in the US, two words: Online Gambling.


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